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John Green’s Guide to Common Spelling and Grammar Errors

The film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars opened in cinemas on 6 June and took less than three weeks to make over $100,000,000 in North America alone. Green’s novel also currently holds the number one spot on many bestseller lists around the world, and yet writing YA tear jerkers is just one of the 36-year-old’s many talents. John Green is also an extremely popular video blogger. Vlogbrothers, the Youtube channel he created with his brother Hank, has over two million subscribers and covers topics ranging from How to Make Cinnamon Toast to Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context.

Green is also the host of the Mental Floss Youtube channel. In this episode he guides viewers through some of the most common spelling and grammar errors including ‘Who vs. Whom’, ‘Lose vs. Loose’ and ‘Elicit vs. Illicit’.

Fans can also watch Green dissect the grammar of reality star Snooki in this video from 2010.

John Green is currently working on a new book with the working title The Racket. 




  1. F. Armstrong Green
    27 June 2014 / 1:11 am

    Good try but he talks too fast for the people who need to know these things.
    He is wrong that “that” can’t refer to a person or people. See Garner’s Modern American Usage (especially today’s email: Oxford University Press []), Follett’s Modern American Usage, Fowler’s Modern English Usage, or any number of other usage books.
    He is also wrong about “effect” not being a verb; to wit, “He can effect change.”

  2. 27 June 2014 / 3:28 am

    I agree, F. Armstrong Green. Also, at 1:44, he gets it wrong about 3 “who’s”. The first and third “that” should be “whom” in perfectly correct grammar. Yes, “that” in modern usage is acceptable, but really only sounds acceptable to me in the last example. And if you and I watched this video, then he is likely preaching to the choir. Most people outside of writers just aren’t that interested…

    • F. Armstrong Green
      27 June 2014 / 5:41 am

      Pitiful, ain’t it!

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